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Potential coronavirus vaccine trial set to start on Monday: AP

A clinical trial for a potential vaccine for the novel coronavirus will begin on Monday, with the first participant receiving an experimental dose, The Associated Press reported

A government official told the AP about the trial, funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), on the condition of anonymity, as the key step in the trial has not yet been publicly announced. 

The trial is taking place at the Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute in Seattle, a city at the center of the coronavirus outbreak in the U.S.

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According to the AP, the trial will start testing 45 young, healthy participants with different doses of the vaccine, which was developed by both the NIH and Moderna Inc. There's reportedly no chance the participants will become infected from the shots, which do not contain the virus itself. Trials will hopefully help scientists observe any potential side effects and pave the way for larger tests.

While this marks a key step in moving toward the creation of a coronavirus vaccine, public health officials have predicted it will take anywhere from a year to 18 months to confirm a vaccine works.

"The answer to containing is public health measures," Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, has said. "We can't rely on a vaccine over the next several months to a year."

President TrumpDonald TrumpBiden to sign executive order aimed at increasing voting access Albany Times Union editorial board calls for Cuomo's resignation Advocates warn restrictive voting bills could end Georgia's record turnout MORE has been pushing for the speedy creation of a vaccine, which pharmaceutical companies and manufacturers are racing to find. 

"We’ve asked them to accelerate whatever they’re doing in terms of a vaccine," Trump told reporters earlier this month

An initial $8.3 billion bill signed earlier this month to address the coronavirus included more than $3 billion for vaccine research. The House has since passed another series of measures aiming to reduce the economic effects of COVID-19's spread. 

In the United States, more than 2,900 people are confirmed to have the coronavirus, and roughly 60 people have died from the disease as of Sunday afternoon. Nationwide, government leaders are encouraging Americans to practice social distancing, stay home, wash their hands and avoid touching their faces to prevent the spread of the viral illness.